Ronde Barber = Jack Lambert?

May 10th, 2013

One cool thing about former Bucs great Ronde Barber was his durability. Aside from Ronnie Lott (who like Barber, was moved to safety), Joe had never seen such a fearless tackling from a cornerback.

Lott was in another world as a physical corner, and as much as Joe loves Barber, he was not Lott’s equal. Any player who decided to go mano y mano with Lott, well, that was a concussion or a broken bone waiting to happen. Lott was a freaking headhunter of the highest order and Joe loved it.

But Eric Adelson of Yahoo! Sports believes fans should not compare Barber to his secondary peers like Deion Sanders and Darrell Green. Instead, Barber should be compared to Dick Butkus and Jack Lambert.

In other words, Barber was one of the toughest guys to play a tough game.

To many fans, Barber is known for his skill, exemplified by his signature interception return for a touchdown in the NFC championship game in 2002 against the Philadelphia Eagles. To players, however, he’s known for the kind of toughness usually reserved for end rushers and linebackers.

“That’s the toughest guy I’ve ever been around,” former Tampa Bay Bucs teammate Barrett Ruud, an eight-year NFL vet, told Yahoo! Sports in December. “Never misses a practice or a game. Every extra point attempt, he’s laying out for it.”

The toughness goes even beyond Barber’s iron man streak, which started in 1999 and ends with his retirement from the game on Thursday. Barber’s consecutive starts streak stands at 224 games, sixth all-time. The players ahead of him are all linemen, with the exception of the top man on the list, Brett Favre. Barber, now 38, is 5-10, 180 pounds – about the size of the average man walking down the street – and he never missed a game due to injury.

Adelson may be onto something. Not just was Barber a tough guy, he was durable. It’s one thing to seek out physicality, it’s quite another to be able to answer the bell the next week.

And Barber did so time after time after time.

7 Responses to “Ronde Barber = Jack Lambert?”

  1. BigSombrero Says:

    If only he had imparted his secrets on the rest of the team…

  2. Tampa2 Says:

    I know it’s picking nits, and ultimately its neither here nor there. But..Yes in a vacuum, 5-10 180 is roughly the average size of some dude walking down the street but he is put together much differently than most 180lb men. You can have a gym/fitness freak at 190 lbs and some average guy that never does crap with himself stand side by side and even though they both weigh 190, they would look completely different. Anyway..whatever. Look forward to seeing Ronde on TV on Sundays. Hopefully he’ll be a game analyst, instead of being on one of those awful pregame shows.

  3. Fritz50 Says:

    ” and he never missed a game due to injury.”
    What I find even more interesting are the injuries he had that I’m just now hearing about . Two knee injuries he played through, including one during the Super Bowl year. A plate holding a shattered thumb , installed between a game and practice on Wednesday , which he participated in. I’m obviously biased , but, Ronde’s an obvious 1st ballot inductee, we’ll just have to see if Ira can pull off his signature magic.

  4. Stoner bucs Says:

    I want him to come coach for us

  5. OAR Says:

    Pain heals. Chicks dig scars. Glory… lasts forever.

  6. Andrew 1 Says:

    ^^^^^^ahahahahaha, love that movie.

  7. MR.T Says:

    That picture of Lambert brings back memories. I lived in Pittsburgh for awhile during those Superbowl years of the 70’s, the guy was ferocious.

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